Speaking after Laois’s lost to Carlow, manager Eddie Brennan was asked not only about the players on the field, but those not on it.
“It’s something I just do not get. I just can’t understand why lads would not want to hurl for their county.
“To me if you excel with your club, there should be a drive and a grá to do that and I think it’s something that, I suppose I said it from the start when I came in here, I think it’s something that has to be challenged a little bit.
“I dunno, that frustrates me. I said to the lads, anyone I spoke to, there was no gun to anyone’s head, there was certainly going to be no pressure from my end of things. I don’t think anyone should be begged to come in and play for their county.
“It’s unfortunate, it’s one of those things. It’s a pity really, because you need all your players, you certainly can’t do without too many.
When asked about last year’s captain Ross King leaving the panel for 2019, Brennan answered: “Look Ross [King] has made his decision and that’s fair enough, you know there’s a lot of other lads out there that aren’t in here either.
“That’s something that maybe we have to look at going forward and say ‘How does that fix itself?’ because I think it’s disappointing you know, to see other lads outside of that.
“It has taken up a lot of airtime to be fair to Ross and it’s one of those things but, you know there’s a lot of other guys not here either and that’s something that definitely has to be looked at going forward, how can we change that.”
Speaking on individual players raised such as Cahir Healy and Ciaran Collier, Brennan said:
“I don’t know for 110% but the talk is that he’s leaning towards the football. It’s probably better to wait and see what happens there.
“No Ciaran opted not to come in. You can talk to lads all your want but to me, look, it’s very disappointing.”
However Brennan was keen to mention that he is ‘more than happy’ with the squad in their at the moment.
“I will work very much so with what I have, it’s as simple as that. The lads that are in at the moment are really applying themselves and today is a setback but it is something that we’re not going to throw in the towel at.
“Like I said, I’ll go back to the guys that are in here at the moment, I’ll work with them. They’ve given us honesty so far and I’d be more than happy with what we have at the moment.
“Yeah, you’d love to have all the best hurlers in Laois but I have the guys that are willing to roll up their socks and represent their county and I think that takes courage to come in and represent your county when that backdrop is there.”